OGDEN — Utah gubernatorial hopeful Jon Huntsman Jr. is coming to Ogden.

The Republican candidate is to hold a town hall meeting on the Weber State University campus at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. It'll be held in room 101 of Lindquist Hall, the Haven J. Barlow Lecture Hall, according to Bob Hunter, director of WSU's Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service.

Huntsman, governor of Utah from 2005-2009, announced plans last week to run for governor in 2020, capping heavy speculation about his intentions. He kicked off his campaign with stops at Southern Utah University in Cedar City and Dixie State University in St. George and now comes north to the Weber State campus. According to his Facebook page, he was in Farr West on Monday meeting supporters.

Other hopefuls to replace Gov. Gary Herbert, who's not running again, include Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, Provo businessman Jeff Burningham and Aimee Winder Newton, a member of the Salt Lake County Council. A Salt Lake Chamber poll published Oct. 22 showed Huntsman garnering 33% support as a candidate for governor among respondents compared to 26% for Cox, with others trailing in the single digits.

Huntsman also served as ambassador to China during President Barack Obama's administration, from 2009 to 2011, before launching a presidential bid, ultimately unsuccessful, in 2012. He served as ambassador to Russia under President Donald Trump from 2017 until stepping down earlier this year, among other governmental postings.

In announcing his bid on Nov. 14, Huntsman put the focus on the state's future growth and properly managing it. 

"I do believe the most pressing issue today as it will be tomorrow has to do with growth. We are a competitive state and people want to be here," he said in a Facebook post. "That's the challenge before us — whether it's economy, education, transportation, air quality or many other pressing issues, overall growth is the big picture."

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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